Bible, Devotional, High School(9-12), Jr. High(7-8), Principles of True Education, Reading

Encounter Series- A 4-year Bible/SOP Reading Plan

The Encounter Series is a AY/Pathfinder Club reading plan that works very well as a Bible Curriculum for middle and high school aged students.   The series is a four-year plan that combines reading the Bible with the corresponding Spirit of Prophecy books.  Each link below leads to a printable .pdf reading checklist for each day of the year.

Christ The Way – The four Gospels and Desire of Ages

Christ The Church– Acts to Revelation and  Acts of the Apostles, The Great Controversy

Christ Our Redemption – First half of the Old Testament and Patriarchs and Prophets

Christ Our Hope – Last half of the Old Testament and Prophets and Kings

sop-books-bible-and-candleLinks to online &  audio versions of the Spirit of Prophecy books:

E.G. White Estate -online reading link

Cornerstone Connections -online, ebook and audio versions in modern English -audio versions



Elementary(K-6), Just For Fun, Reading, Special Needs

Inexpensive Phonics Manipulatives

Alphabet/phonics/word work manipulatives add enjoyment to the process of learning to read and spell.  These hands-on materials can be found very inexpensively if you know where to look.
Phonics manipulatives

Next time you are in a dollar or discount store, be sure to check for potential manipulatives.  Don’t limit your search to just the educational supply section, also take a look in the office supply aisle, and  the dollar bin area.   The toy aisle might reveal manipulatives as well – think wooden alphabet blocks!

The blue foam letter squares, the letter magnets and the alphabet bingo game shown above were each found for only a dollar.  I’ve also found simple file folder games and sight word strips, and even the pocket chart for one dollar.  Don’t forget to look for blank sentence strips!

phonics manipulatives 2Next time you are at a yard or jumble sale,  look for old Scrabble or other word games.  Doesn’t matter if all of the pieces are there, you just need the letter tiles or word pieces.  Many times these games can be had for free.  That was the case with the wooden Scrabble tiles shown above.  I love those Scrabble tiles because they are very sturdy and will hold up to lots of word play.

Keep your eyes peeled for cheap letter & word study manipulatives – they’re out there!




Early Learning, Elementary(K-6), High School(9-12), Jr. High(7-8), Reading, Special Needs

Read To Me

One of the first steps of teaching reading is to read aloud to your child.   Spend some time reading aloud to your children, as well as discussing what you have read.   You will soon discover that the benefits reach far beyond developing and strengthening reading skills.

A bedtime story

Leave a comment and share what you are currently reading aloud to your child(ren).

High School(9-12), History/Geography, Jr. High(7-8), Reading, Science, Study Skills, Unit Studies

Daily Learning for Secondary Students using the NYT

The newspaper is an excellent learning resource for secondary students , especially in the areas of current history/culture, journalism and reading comprehension.  Every weekday The New York Times  provides new  free educational resources based on the content published in the newspaper.  Click on the image below to browse The Learning Network’s teaching and learning resources. The Learning Network - Teaching and Learning With The New York Times

Curriculum Reviews

Book Review: Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

Pocketful of Pinecones

Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning

A Story for Mother Culture

Pocketful of Pinecones

Pocketful of Pinecones is not a book your child would read, but rather a book for Mom to read.  This book is a historical-fictional type book, mixed with good science.  Karen weaves a fictional story around personal experiences and true stories that she has heard through the years.  Her goal in writing the book was to give an honest report of what nature study may look like in the life of a family.  She is sharing the Charlotte Mason way of teaching nature study to your children.

As a Seventh-day Adventist, you will run across an occasional mention of Saturday shopping or Sunday church activities.  This did not bother me, but it is in there, nonetheless.  I really liked the style of the Charlotte Mason way of Nature Study.  This is very much in line with how Ellen White instructed us to introduce our children to nature.

While I believe she did a great job sharing this style of teaching, I personally would add more emphasis on God’s creation.  Meaning, I would want to be reminding my children, if they are quite young about how God’s creation was so interesting, so unique, so particular to details, etc. I would try to add in a few object lessons a bit more often.  I believe the book may have shared that aspect once or twice, and her goal was to include as many different instances in teaching nature study to our children, not to repeat the same style over and over again.  So I am not disappointed, as the different ways to easily or naturally include nature study into our days is important.  However, my personal style would be to focus on bringing my children to God as the creator more often or to focus on object lessons within the nature study.

The book offers an appendix Supplement of specific Charlotte Mason quotes and pages to read.  They are interesting and very much in line with counsel from Ellen White.   Also included is a Suggested Reading appendix, in which she referenced different titles of works in her book, and also titles that she feels are useful for additional nature study references.  I have not read all of those titles, so I cannot verify whether they are good suggestions or not.    She then ends the section of Appendices with how she came up with the story line and how she gathered the different stories.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  I feel it gives an honest look of how nature study over an entire year might play out.  She goes through seasons, and has days or even a week or more where nothing is touched and they come back to nature study.  This book is a journal style book of the Mom’s recollections of the day, so the dates are scattered, which is often a realistic view of nature study.  While we can schedule nature study in our days from 10 to 10:30 a.m., it often becomes more natural and fulfilling to take time to notice nature in your days as you come across it.   I like this style of teaching, more of a taking time to smell (and observe) the roses in life.


Your turn!  Please rate this curriculum if you have used it in your homeschool and feel free to leave a comment so others can learn more about this product.

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Curriculum Reviews, Extracurricular, History, Unit Studies

Curriculum Review: Draw and Write Through History

Draw and Write Through History

Written by  Carylee Gressman and Illustrated by Peggy Dick


I pulled down these books to do this review and the children took off with them!  Our children LOVE these books.  This is a very engaging program.  They are filled with “fun facts,” extra challenges, and a helpful Bibliography at the end of each book for additional reference material and study.  It is designed for ages 8+, but can easily be used with younger children.  Ours have enjoyed it as young as five and six years old.  From the title, it covers three subjects, but we have used it for four.

Art-  The step by step drawing lessons are easy to follow.  Our children just pick up the books and start following along.  There are simple tips for the artistically challenged yet room for the more advanced to add lots more detail.


Handwriting-  These are the Zaner Bloser Cursive.  Each book starts with a simple review of the letters.  It would be easy to copy the handwriting assignments in print for younger children.  There are only 4-5 handwriting pages in each book, except the “Creation through Jonah,” which has 7.  I add more handwriting assignments, using some of the additional fun facts or verses from the Bible.

History-  The history lessons are simple.  They are meant to supplement another History program and could be used with any teaching approach.  They are perfect for “Story of the World” or “Mystery of History.”  We used “Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots” with “Light and the Glory for Children” by P. Marshal and “In God We Trust” by J. Ashcroft.  Our children’s favorite has been “Creation through Jonah.”  We used a pictorial History Encyclopedia and the Bible with it.  We scrap-booked that year and then entered the books in the county fair.  It was great fun!


Science-  There is also a fair bit of Science in these.  Again, the sprinkling of fun facts helps direct us to further study about God’s creation and some of man’s inventions.  The Research Ideas and Science Facts are also a big help.  The boys especially want to start building things, like catapults, sail boats, and cool armor.

This program could be used as a base for a fun year of Unit Study or they can be supplemental to a more structured curriculum.  They would also be a lot of fun for summer to keep the children busy when they are cooped up in the house on very hot days!  You can find Draw and Write Through History at

Review by Dawnita F.


Thanks, Dawnita, for your review!  If you have used something in your homeschool and would like to review it here, please contact us at

Your turn!  Please rate this curriculum if you have used it in your homeschool and feel free to leave a comment so others can learn more about this product.